Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Blogging with Richard and Judy

One of the things that I find odd about my work is that when I do a show in which I demonstrate my lack of expertise in a field, people then start to treat me like an expert. I still regularly receive e-mails from strangers that ask me if I can help them track down a long-lost friend or similar because Are You Dave Gorman? has convinced them that I'm some kind of brilliant person-hunter. I would have thought that anyone who'd watched the show or read the book would understand that I was no expert.

Similarly, when my Important Astrology Experiment was on air I started getting asked questions about star-signs that were entirely irrelevant. I distnctly remember one journalist asking me to tell her what Librans were supposed to be like and when I told her I didn't have the first idea she basically said, "Well why on earth do you think you can present a series about astrolgy then?" It wasn't really worth explaining that I wasn't presenting-a-series-about-astrology but instead telling-a-story-about-something-I'd-experienced. Se'd been sent a tape of the show.

Since my Googlewhack Adventure has taken over as thing-I-get-asked-about-most-often I seem to have been filed away on some kind of TV research database as man-who-knows-about-the-internet. I don't especially and again, anyone who'd seen the show or read the book would understand that there's nothing about it that makes a claim to any expertise.

But that doesn't stop the phone from ringing every time there's an internet-related news story someone wants to discuss on TV. If Google's shares suddenly shoot up (or down) in price the phone rings and someone is inviting me to appear on a news programme to discuss it. I always refuse these invites because I don't really have an opinion and even if I did I don't really see how it would be a) more informed than anyone else's or b) relevant to the story.

For this reason I was a little sceptical when my agent rang to ask me if I was interested in taking part in a discussion about blogging and almost said an automatic 'no' in reply. I'm not an expert in the field, (I don't really think that this is a blog - this is my sometimes-bloggy-news-page which is different and not as bloggy as a blog) and I know nothing about the technology either.

But then two magic words were used. Richard and Judy. They are such genuinely lovely company that there is little I won't do for R&J. More to the point, a sensible question was asked. Instead of assuming I'm some kind of expert, the simple query, 'Do you read any blogs?' was made to which the reply is 'Yes.' This was followed up by the simple follow up question, 'Would you like to talk about them?' Another 'Yes' was forthcoming. I do read a couple of blogs and I am able to string a sentence together so why not talk to Richard and Judy about it?

In the end the discussion was fun and lively and involved Emily Bell (editor of Guardian Unlimited) and Catherine who is better known to blog-aficionados as Petite Anglaise. Catherine's blog is largely about her life as an ex-pat living in France and recently she's made the news because her employers discovered her blog (in which they weren't identified) and promptly sacked her.

So, for what it's worth, the blogs I regularly read are Emma Kennedy, Richard Herring and Paul Daniels all of which make me laugh - some more deliberately than others. They referred to the blogs of Kennedy.E and Daniels.P on the show and I seemed to induce some panic behind the cameras when I referred to this particular entry on Paul's old blog (from before he moved it over to his shiny new website) although why anyone should be panicking when it's in the public domain is beyond me.

I probably emerged looking a bit obsessed with Paul Daniels because another blog that I mentioned - and which is something of a favourite - is Paul Daniels' Ebay Transactions in which someone blogs every minute details of every transaction the magician makes on ebay. (He buys and sells and has a penchant for horror films that as far as I can see he makes no mention of on his blog.)

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